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Van Zandt County woman sentenced to federal prison for defrauding elderly

Defendant ordered to pay restitution of $47,236.94 to elderly victim

SHERMAN, Texas – A Wills Point woman has been sentenced to federal prison for fraud violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs.

Lisa Lynn Smith, 62, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant.  Smith was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $47,236.94 to her elderly victim.

According to information presented in court, Smith carried out a scheme to defraud an elderly Plano man by telling him lies about urgent personal and family expenses that she was facing.  Smith also convinced the victim that she was going to receive a lawsuit settlement for over $2.5 million, and that she would use the money to pay the victim back for the money that he was giving to her.  The victim would provide funds to Smith by various means including allowing Smith access to a credit card, which she used for various purposes such as repeatedly renting cars for her family members. In fact, Smith’s lawsuit paid nothing close to this amount and Smith was using the money for personal and family expenses that she did not disclose to the victim.

If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311).  This U.S. Department of Justice hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the needs of the victim, and identifying relevant next steps.  Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to assist them in reporting, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis.  Reporting is the first step.  Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses.  The hotline is staffed 10am-6pm Eastern Time, Monday-Friday. English, Spanish, and other languages are available.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Frisco Resident Agency and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. attorneys in the Plano office.

Davilyn Walston

Public Affairs Officer/Law Enforcement Coordinator

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Eastern District of Texas

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